It’s a good thing revenge is a dish best served cold, because the Diamondbacks will have to put their plans for retribution on ice for at least six months.
In winning the final game of this week’s four game series at Chase Field yesterday, the Dodgers clinched the NL West, punching their ticket to the postseason and officially eliminating the D-backs from contention. Although the D-backs managed to push the Dodgers’ celebration to getaway day by winning two of the four games, they still had to endure the champagne triumph from only a few dozen feet away.
But that’s only part of the story. After “evading” stadium security, a group of some 20 Dodgers players scaled the wall in right-center to throw themselves an impromptu pool party, cannonballing their way into Arizona infamy.
Check out this string of pictures from Dodgers photographer Jon Soo Hoo. Plenty of pool memories to pick from, but I think my favorite is the one in which it looks like Yasiel Puig is trying to entice the Arizona lifeguards to join in on the fun.
I’ll not vulture the Willie Bloomquist and Derrick Hall quotes from this Tyler Emerick piece; but make sure to check it out. Although I completely agree with Brandon McCarthy’s take — that the important thing is to focus on playing better next year — it does seem that at least some D-backs players found the pool business disrespectful.
Why? Well there are two reasons, I think.
One is that the pool isn’t just a pool. It’s hosted a Diamondbacks celebration in 2011; but it’s also the signature feature of the ballpark. When graphic artist pootpoot captured Chase Field in his series of minimalist baseball stadium pictures, he reduced Chase to the pool. The only comparisons I can think of might be an opposing team taking turns on the Miller Park slide, or playing an exuberant hide-and-go-seek in the Wrigley Field ivy. The pool doesn’t have the same history as the ivy or even the slide, but Arizona is a young franchise; the fact that it’s relatively new does not mean that the pool is not central to Chase Field’s identity, and by extension, symbolic to the players (and fans) who call Chase their home.
The second reason is context. Sure, there’s the rumble between the teams on June 11 at Dodger Stadium — but Ian Kennedy and Eric Hinske are long gone, and that’s not really it. There’s the fact that Arizona was the team displaced when LA went worst-to-first in less than three months — but as grating as it might be, any D-backs fan would concede that the Dodgers’ laurels are deserved for that accomplishment.
For me, it was the five beanballs in two days that made the pool fiasco feel like adding insult to injury. In delaying the Dodgers’ celebration for one day on Wednesday, the D-backs got hit three times: Matt Davidson in the first (Fife), Miguel Montero in the third (Fife), and Aaron Hill in the fourth (Marmol). The D-backs did not retaliate. After hitting two home runs against the Dodgers, Paul Goldschmidt was then hit in the first inning on Thursday, before Martin Prado took one on the shoulder in the fourth (both Nolasco).
After Prado got hit, home plate umpire Jim Joyce warned both teams — if the D-backs had tried to even up the HBP ledger at that point, both pitcher and manager would have been ejected. On the D-backs broadcast, Steve Berthiaume noted that Thursday was the last meeting of the season for the two teams, and so there would not be an opportunity for retribution. Bob Brenly immediately noted that “there’s spring training next year,” and games next season, and games after that.
The best revenge is playing well. But after a long offseason of thinking on the events of yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a little trouble in Australia next year.
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